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Ida Aukens tale ved EPBRS workshop om oprettelsen af et internationalt naturpanel



Ida Auken
Politiker, Socialdemokratiet




All of the EU – and I think most of the world – is talking about the financial crisis these years. But far too many fails to see the resource crisis and strong connection between those two.

Biodiversity is essential for our future wealth and health

I believe that to solve the financial crisis we need to ensure a sustainable use of nature resources. And my worries are not only about oil, phosphorus, minerals or other valued resources.

I worry about the wide diversity in plants, animals, nature types and ecosystems that has economic value but also incalculable value in it self.

This value will hopefully be increasingly recognised by the political and economic systems from now on. This means that there can be an increasing awareness of the need to address the drivers of this loss but also that IPBES should be a tool with a focus that is useful in this regard. This should be at the heart of your discussions in the coming days on the thematic content of the future IPBES work programme.

Policy makers need guidance

Biodiversity is not a new issue. But despite global actions, biodiversity is still declining and ecosystems are still threatened. In the EU our previous biodiversity strategy did not manage to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010.

We therefore need a platform that can guide us policy makers to decision making and prioritized action.

No doubt the challenges are many and I strongly believe that IPBES can play a critical role when it comes to identifying key scientific information needed for policy makers. Prompt response to government needs is also of great importance.

IPBES will become a crucial tool

In this context one item is crucial. It is the valuation of ecosystem services. An increasing population and pressure on resources makes the valuation of ecosystem services the only possible way forward.

Therefore we need to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity and to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

I know that this alone is not an easy task. How do you value the plant which keeps supplying the atmosphere with oxygen? Even though this is very difficult, I think we all must agree that it is also an ultimate ecosystem service which we cannot do without.

It is a very important task and we need to gather expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward.

There is no doubt in my mind that not only do we need solid scientific information about the trends in biodiversity, we also need a platform which gather all available information on biodiversity, ecosystem services and their relation to human well-being.

And we need someone – something – specialised in translating all this information for the policy makers.

IPBES is a crucial tool which in my mind will be able to do exactly that.

Forming IPBES

I think the creative inputs, constructive ways and hard work you are all contributing are decisive for the establishment of IPBES and will be beneficial for us all in the long run.

I know that a very important meeting in Panama City is coming up. A meeting where you together with countries from all over the world will make important decisions on the work programme on IPBES.

It is not an easy task – and therefore I hope that this workshop can be an important step in the right direction.

The role of IPBES

In my mind IPBES shall not be seen as a competitor to other initiatives but as a co-operation among scientists from both social-, economic-, political and natural science to integrate knowledge and knowledge systems.

The concrete task for IPBES should be to provide assessments on the linkages between different systems of ecosystem services and biodiversity to the well being of humans and society. And existing assessment shall be integrated as much as possible. We don’t need different competing systems

IPBES should be a global tool and focus on important international negotiation processes relevant for ecosystems services and biodiversity.

I am very much looking forward to having IPBES as a new partner which will provide answers to politicians and the civil society on questions and challenges that will be crucial in order to secure our wealth and develop our societies in the future.

We need to hurry to stop impoverish the Earth

I believe IPBES needs to get started. We need to design the system now but make sure it is flexible enough to continually improve in future.

But we do have not time to spend years designing a "perfect" system. We need to implement conservation actions now to prevent further biodiversity loss.

Keep the system as simple as possible. Always remember that IPBES should guide politicians. Therefore don’t pick up hundreds of recommendations and remember to prioritize the recommendations that you provide.

We might be able to stop the financial crisis. But until we are able to stop the eradication of species, the world will get still poorer every day.

Denmark, in hosting this meeting, wants to move forward as quickly as possible.



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